Muslim Students Learn to Fight Stereotypes

September 27, 2007

Author: Stephanie Gehring

Source: Daily Southtown,092707citizenship.article

Standing in front of Muslim high school students, Ahmed Rehab asked the girls at Universal School in Bridgeview what non-Muslims might think when they see them at the shopping mall in their hijabs, or headscarves.

"Terrorists, crazy, oppressed," the students shouted.

"Where did they get those stereotypes?" he asked.

It's human nature to be afraid of what you don't understand, and that fear and misunderstanding can lead to stereotypes, he said.

"I know a ... stereotype," Rehab said. "(A woman who wears a hijab) is more likely to be a good student, likely to be in college and one of the most committed students. She's likely not to drink, use drugs or steal your credit card and use it.

"She's more likely to be good to her parents and siblings and neighbors. It's a positive one if only people knew. How are they going to know if you don't show yourself?"